NEW YORK WEATHER

For the Glasgow climate summit to be judged a success, a key outcome had to be that parties agree the majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground.

As recent research suggests, 89% of coal and 59% of gas reserves need to stay in the ground if there is to be even a 50% chance of global temperature rise staying under the crucial limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.

The summit has not lived up to that ambition because there are too many loopholes for the fossil fuel industry to exploit.

Some promising proposals have been put forward, including the pledge to cut methane emissions, some increased emissions reductions targets at the national level, limits to deforestation and ending some overseas funding of fossil fuels. Recently, 13 countries launched a new alliance to end gas and oil production within their borders, led by Denmark and Costa Rica.

But most proposals suffer either from a lack of ambition or a lack of participation from key countries.

Take the pledge to cut methane emissions. Some of the biggest methane emitters such as Russia, China and Australia failed to sign up. Similarly, the plan to phase out coal allows some signatories such as Indonesia to keep building coal-fired power plants.

What these proposals and, indeed, the whole…

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